In the 50th year of the reign of King Endra’tol, aware his time on Malartú was fading, he issued a decree that would shape the world forever; the rule of Kreyss’hai and her Priest Kings would be imposed on the Drenlands to the East of the Sháelarn, as it had been generations before. He described the spread of her faith as a rising tide, washing away the base and animalistic nature of the Talghaern that now occupied the lands.
In ancient times the Drenlands had been a sacred and blessed place, given as a homeland to the Curoan by Kreyss’hai herself. A place and a people from which the Garaín and Frayhaern of the Sháelarn and the Westerlands were descended, so the folk beliefs of these people claimed. Those were days of peace and learning, ended by the malice of Bal’shir, when the Drenlands were overrun by the Talghaern, the wild beasts from the harsh and barren mountains of the North. The Curoan fought with all their strength, but it was to no avail. After years of reesistance and outright war, they fled further East, to where no one knows.
In the days of Endra’tol, the Drenlands were a wild place of long abandoned cities, sweeping plains that once provided abundant harvests of tall wheat and golden barley were little more than tundra, woodlands providing fruits, fungi and game, now wild forests, dark and dangerous. In the North Drenland, the Caldera, once a crystal clear lake of the purest water, a source of bountiful fishing and was now poisoned with black water and avoided by all. Splitting the mountains of the Southern Drenland asunder, the Chasm, a great gouge in the land that only the bravest would dare enter even in the days of the Curoan.
To this end, King Endra’tol declared a Great Land War against the Talghaern invaders. For years the war raged, but at the final on North Drenland the forces of Kreyss’hai would win, but at an unimaginable cost and it would be a victory that needed divine intervention, so fearsome were the enemy.
It was at the latter part of the Great Land War that Úrantè, being disturbed by the loss of life on Malartú, would return to the world he had created and loose his punishment. Though engaged in his aeons long journey of creation through the Great Dark, his awareness was drawn back to a sparkling rock created in a distant past.
As a young creator god, Úrantè had never before experienced wholesale destruction of his living creations. At first, the rate of death of sentient and non-sentient beings was no more than a whisper to his busy mind and as nought in comparison to the scale of creation he was enacting. Yet in a moment, relative to the perception of time for a god, he was sharply aware of the destruction and suffering taking place on Malartú and knew by his connectedness to all things that his creations had turned upon themselves.
He returned in an instant to the region of the Great Dark around Malartú and observed the destruction of life taking place. Naïve and only knowing how to create he observed in confusion and sought to learn from his creations how to enact the destruction they had discovered with such ease.
It was at that time he sensed a presence less than himself, yet mightier than his own creations. It reached out to his mind and for a moment his confusion eased, replaced with the peace he had known since the rise of his consciousness back at the dawn of creation. The goddess Kreyss’hai had revealed herself to him for the first time, an image of peace, of radiant light and gentleness, of growth, life and love. Then without words she showed him an image of yet another, darker figure who was the architect of the destruction now being wrought upon his world, a manifestation of martial force, of power and hate. He saw within these two entities dual aspects of himself and the ability to not just create, but to destroy that he had not yet learned before the revelations he was now given.
Enlightened as he now was in the way of purposeful destruction, Kreyss’hai divined with horror his thoughts of destroying the world that had given her life and sustained all his creations. She sensed his mind turn to the dual moons, the blue hued Erátim and the shattered, grey Erátawn, that accompanied Malartú in the loneliness of the Great Dark.
Enacting his new found fury, Úrantè directed a shower of rocks and debris from Erátawn to the lands and seas below. A bombardment of fire and stone crashed into the battlefields below, sundering the very firmament of Malartú and ending the lives of thousands of creatures. Where the debris landed in the oceans, great swells raced towards the land and caused waves as high as mountains to wash over beaches, cliffs and hills to inundate the plains and forests beyond. Liquid fire and plumes of ash and smoke rose from the punctured and ruptured ground. Where lands were ruptured near the oceans, the water rushed into the cracks and crevasses and created new rivers and inland seas, boiling with their own fury and noise. Fire and flood, death and destruction covered the lands in the blink of an eye. Even Bal’shir, who had taken joy in the battle of might and will against Úrantè’s creations felt afraid at the absent god’s return and swift judgement.
Kreyss’hai acted quickly. She drew a great force from the life field of Malartú, harnessing the power of creation now released back to the ether by the death of Úrantè’s children and in a desperate act, drove it into the World Shard, the great crystal at the heart of Malartú, around which it had been formed. The Shard focused the power flowing through it and cast it above the highest clouds and to the very edge of the sky as a beam of purest energy, it’s edges pushing every outward until they encircled the world and sealed Malartú from all beyond it.
With the Malartú protected, Kreyss’hai reached out to Úrantè once more, but his thoughts were impenetrable through the Seal and in a moment he was gone, satisfied his judgement had been passed and the world was lost to itself and its new gods.
Without hesitation, Kreyss’hai switched her conscience back to Bal’shir and sought to overwhelm his mind, to paralyze him into inaction until she could find where he lay hidden. Bal’shir however was ancient and cunning, he had already withdrawn to the Vaulted Temple built by his followers within the impenetrable Maiandor mountain range, at the very heart of the Harshlands of the North.
She could not win the war, but she could end this battle. Seizing the moment, she healed and guided her remaining followers across the shattered lands and over the still wild waters. Within a few weeks they had driven the beasts of Bal’shir back to their master in his mountain fortress.
At the edge of the Harshlands, in the shadow of the cold and grey Maiandór mountains, the revered King Endra’tol, declared victory over the Talghaern hordes.
Centuries later, the shattered land between the mountains and the plains of the Northern Drenland would continue to erode and be washed away by the oceans, forming what would become a rugged island home called Bal’shir’s Paw.
So ended the Great Land War and the time of Restoration began.